Calvin Klein Advertisement


Gender Roles


In this advertisement for Calvin Klein Jeans, the female model is depicted lying on vacant beach. This type of advertisement creates many troubled stereotypes and ideologies for our modern day society. She is dressed in a see through white tank top, which emphasizes her chest region. She also has on low rise CK jeans that draw attention to her stomach. Her arms lie above her head in a lifeless manner, indicating that she is extremely vulnerable. The camera angle is pointed downward on the female model, enabling the consumer to feel superior.

This image can be critically evaluated using Goffman’s (1979) model of gender advertising. Goffman claims that image advertisements often place women in subordinate positions.  He also discusses a set of codes called, “ritualization of subordination”.  This concept addresses the physical position of a woman in an advertisement. Women are often seen on their side or lying on their back.   This allows the viewer to identify that the model is sexually available and vulnerable in that situation. Nonverbal messages are extremely evident in gender advertisements.  


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